There’s a vacancy at Hotel Transylvania, and Sony Pictures Consumer Products is ready to fill it. “To date, there hasn’t really been a substantial CP program for Hotel T,” says Sony Pictures EVP of worldwide consumer products and licensing, Jamie Stevens. “It’s been a little bit unexploited.”
To take advantage of the property’s popularity—the original 2012 feature film has spawned sequels, a television series and theme park attractions—newly appointed master toy partner Jazwares is developing a toy line set to hit shelves just as Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3 lands in theaters in July 2018. This premiere will mark the first time a Hotel Transylvania film has debuted outside of September, and the upcoming film will also be the first that sees Dracula and his daughter Mavis leave the titular hotel.
“They’re going on vacation,” Stevens says. “So that really adds to the summer window release. And it also helps because our strategy is to take advantage earlier, with summer merchandise and promos that tie into the movie. And of course, we’re in the back-to-school window when the movie releases, so we can take advantage of that.”
The timing is also right, Stevens says, because Hotel Transylvania: The Series—produced in partnership with Corus Entertainment-owned Nelvana—has proven to be a hit. The 2D-animated show focuses on the teenage years with Mavis and her friends, who run the hotel while Dracula is away. It airs on Disney Channels in territories around the world, including the US, Europe (excluding Germany), Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
“Having the TV show obviously means getting exposure every day,” says Stevens. “Moving forward, we’re talking about location-based entertainment, live shows, and really mining the franchise and looking at different opportunities.”
Additionally, Sony Pictures Consumer Products has partnered with publishers Simon & Schuster Children’s Group, Papercutz Comics and Bendon Publishing to create a range of books inspired by the films and the television series. The books, which will be available in various formats, will bow as early as this fall.
Stevens says Sony plans to continue to grow the CP program across all major categories globally for kids aged four to eight. “Fans are so passionate about the franchise, they were clamoring for products that we just weren’t providing,” she says. “This is an opportunity to serve up products for the TV show, the upcoming film, and the franchise as a whole to feed the fans’ appetite for these characters.”